- Columbia, South Carolina
- Aug. 24-25, 2018
South Carolina claimed the title at its own Gamecock Invitational with a historic and momentous sweep of rival Clemson, marking the program’s 800th victory.
The Gamecocks are now 800-630 all-time, including 17 20-win seasons and seven NCAA Tournament appearances.
Win number three this season is a little more special than usual.
It's the 800th win in our program's HISTORY! Who better to get it against than our rivals in front of a record-setting crowd, way to go, #Gamecock nation! pic.twitter.com/42MgdH6N6Q
— Gamecock Volleyball (@GamecockVolley) August 25, 2018
South Carolina’s Mikayla Shields was named tournament MVP. Gamecocks Courtney Koehler and Claire Edwards and Clemson’s Adria Oliver were named to the all-tournament team.
South Carolina def. Clemson 3-0 (25-21, 25-22, 25-18)
Key Stats: South Carolina hit at a .367 clip, while outdoing Clemson 48-38 in kills. The Gamecocks hit .400 or better in Sets 1 and 3, while holding the Tigers to a .250 effort, with a high of .270 in Set 1. Clemson edged South Carolina 4-3 in aces, while both teams posted six blocks.
Stat Leaders: Four different players posted nine or more kills for the Gamecocks with Jess Vastine, Mikayla Shields and Mikayla Robinson notching 10 apiece, while Brittany McLean added nine. Robinson hit at a team-best .692 clip (10-1-13) and put up three blocks, while McLean hit .467 (9-2-15). Claire Edwards tacked on three blocks.
It was also offense by committee for the Tigers. After eight players got in on the offensive action on opening day, six managed three or more kills against the Gamecocks. Adria Oliver downed 10 kills at a .444 clip, while Ava Pritchard (8), Ashtynne Alberts (7), Brooke Bailey (6), Alyssa Deloney (4) and Gabby Easton (3) followed. Easton notched a 27-assist, 10-dig double-double, while Pritchard put up a team-best four blocks.
The Tigers lost All-ACC outside hitter Kaylin Korte to a knee injury in an exhibition match last Saturday.
How It Happened: It was a one-point game (11-10) midway through Set 1, before the Gamecocks scored five in a row and nine of the next 13 to go up 20-14 on a Vastine ace. Clemson got back within two at 22-20 and 23-21, but putdowns by Shields and Vastine sewed up the victory.
Clemson rallied from down 9-5 to tie Set 2 at 13-all, but could not break through. South Carolina put some distance between the teams with a 5-1 run, including two McLean kills, and held on for the 25-22 win.
The Gamecocks raced out to a 10-3 lead in Set 3 with four Vastine putaways and four Clemson miscues. The Tigers got within three at 20-17, but South Carolina cut the rally short, wrapping up the program’s 800th win and the sweep with a 5-1 run. Robinson notched two kills and a block in the final stretch, including the match winner.
East Tennessee State def. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi 3-0 (25-21, 25-20, 25-23)
Key Stats: ETSU hit at a .415 clip and led the Islanders in kills (46-41) and blocks (3-2) in the win. Texas A&M Corpus Christi outserved the Bucs 5-4. East Tennessee State hit .600 in the opening stanza, followed by efforts of .400 and .294. TAMCC hit .225 for the match, starting with a .257 effort, then falling to .231 and .189.
Stat Leaders: AJ Lux and Leah Clayton led the way for ETSU with 17 and 16 kills respectively, each hitting better than .450 at .625 and .467. Clayton rounded out first career double-double with 11 digs.
Madison Green was tops among the Islanders with 12 kills on a .440 hitting effort to go with seven digs and three aces. Jenna Lyons followed with nine kills and two aces.
How It Happened: After tying at 9-all, ETSU scored eight of the next 12 in Set 1 to go up 17-13 and gain enough separation to hold off the Islanders in a 25-21 win. Down 24-18, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi stayed alive with three Buccaneers errors, before Kaela Massey ended the stanza.
East Tennessee State boasted a six-point edge midway through Set 2 at 14-8. TAMCC would get no closer than four the rest of the way, making it 24-20, stopping two set point tries with a service error and a Green kill. Lux prevented further comeback at 25-20.
ETSU went up by five at 14-9 in Set 3 as Lux racked up six kills and a block, but the Islanders battled back with an 8-1 run, including three Green putaways. Down 20-17, the Bucs countered with five straight points, taking a 22-20 lead on a Marija Popovic ace. The teams tied at 22 and 23, before a hitting TAMCC error and a final Lux putaway wrapped up the match.